A syllogism is a helpful little tool used in logic composed of three statements. It takes place when the first two premises produce an inescapable conclusion (third statement). For example, if all men are tall, and john is a man, then it inevitably follows that John is tall. Now obviously not all men are tall, so despite the preciseness of the logic, syllogisms are essentially useless unless the premises are true. However If the premises are true then we can have confidence that the conclusion is one worth trusting in. Many syllogisms have been offered to provide proof for the existence of God, but here is one that’s based on simple, empirical evidence.
1. All living things contain specified complexity (information) within their DNA
2. This type of complexity can only be derived from a source of intelligence
3. Therefore, all living things are derived from a source of intelligence.
This sounds slightly technical at first, so here’s the breakdown.
1. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the structure within all living cells that carry the genetic information used reproduce and maintain life. It is a code, or set of instructions, that operates according to the same principles used in quantifying information within language, software etc. DNA contains four characters that, when combined differently, forms the instructions for creating different proteins. Just as in binary code, two characters, 1 and 0, can create numerous different larger characters i.e. 011011 or 101010, so these four characters are used to code for all the instructions that create life. The kind of information apparent in DNA not only has the capacity to carry information (random characters with no meaning) but actually does carry messages intended for function.
2. There are no other known causes for this kind of information, which is both specified and complex, other than intelligence. Nature can create either instances of specificity or complexity, but when we see both together the only known cause is intelligence.
3. If the two preceding premises are both correct, something which nobody has reasonably disputed, then we can conclusively deduct the truth that all of life is derived from a source of intelligence.
This syllogism proves that life comes from intelligence, what else could have created the vast array of living molecular machinery that we see? The complexity of DNA is so beyond anything humans have ever been able to reproduce that even famed Microsoft designer Bill Gates says “DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created.”(Bill Gates, “The Road Ahead,” pg. 188 (Viking, Penguin Group, 1995). Where else could the transcendent code for life come from other than an infinitely intelligent mind, and who do we know that possesses an infinitely intelligent mind other than God?
Although the logic of this argument may seem strenuous to grasp, it’s simple. All living organisms evidence a ‘code’ within their DNA, and this code is so beyond anything that even our level of intelligence could produce, that random processes are simply out of the question. In short, it demonstrates that we do in fact have a Creator. Of course to the Bible believer, this is old news. After peering through the way that God has manifestly revealed Himself throughout history, especially in the appearance of Jesus Christ, DNA can seem almost superflous. But the fact that we do see such clear signs of design and creation within life does affirm what scripture already tells us :
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20.
One can either acknowledge the clarity of such observations or disregard them, doing the latter isn’t hard. But if one does make room in their hearts for the evidence of God, they’ll be surprised at how much “information” can flow in.